Post image for EMS ACLS Guide app can deliver critical information while in the field

By: Rajat Kumar, MS3

Emergency care begins well before patients reach the doors of the Emergency Room. And numerous studies have shown that despite high-tech critical care units, the fate of our sickest patients often rests in the speed and intelligence of the paramedics and first responders who first arrive on scene. So its crucial that they be intimately familiar with the up to date critical care algorithms.

The EMS ACLS Guide by Informed Publishing offers these initial providers with an array of information, easily accessible on iOS and Android platforms.  The developers admittedly target their app at EMTs and first responders, but this app could also be a valuable tool for all healthcare providers.

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Post image for Call for abstracts for mHealth Summit: deadline approaching

The premier US event for mobile health technology, the mHealth Summit, is calling out for physicians and health technologists to submit abstracts for the upcoming December conference. The abstract submission page is here but you have to hurry up ! The deadline for abstract submission is July 8.

Topics of interest include

  • Research Tools for Remote Monitoring/Assessment
  • Health Promotion/Disease Prevention
  • Disease Screening and Diagnostic Tools
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Infectious or Acute Disease
  • Chronic Disease Management
  • Health Disparities and Underserved Populations

Abstracts can be submitted in one of three tracks:

  1. TECHNOLOGY: Categories that examine the technologies being deployed today while also exploring new technologies currently under development.
  2. BUSINESS: Focus on moving the debate forward by addressing the business models that impact mHealth with a focus on lessons learned, best practices, and the emergence of commercially viable models to scale mHealth globally.
  3. POLICY: Showcase of healthcare, technology and investment communities seeking regulatory clarity on wireless medical technologies to accelerate this promising engine of health care innovation.

iMedicalApps is a media partner for this important event. We know that our readers are among the most technologically savvy physicians. Please let us know if you are submitting abstracts or would like to collaborate. We look forward to meeting some of our readers at the meeting.

Post image for CathSource app brings cardiac catheterization to life with videos and images on the iPhone & iPad

Cardiac catheterization, developed for clinical use by the German physician Werner Forssmann in the 1930s –when he catheterized himself through his own forearm– remains the gold standard for the investigation — and in some cases, management — of a variety of cardiac and coronary conditions.

While these procedures are primarily performed by cardiologists and supervised cardiology fellows, an appreciation for cardiac catheterization represents a valuable skill for internal medicine residents as well as medical students interested in cardiology.

The CathSource app, developed by Drs. Bilhartz and Mahjoobi (cardiologists from Texas A&M) of ECGsource LLC and sponsored by Scott & White Healthcare, aims to assist healthcare professionals in the understanding and recognition of cardiac pathology via cardiac catheterization multimedia.

ECGsource LLC develops materials to help medical trainees prepare for the cardiology boards, and originally focused on EKG interpretation (their EKG database now features over 500 unique EKG’s).

ECGsource LLC has since expanded to offer materials providing instruction on echocardiograms and catheterizations, developing similar EchoSource and CathSource databases.  Similar to their ECGsource app, the CathSource app is a scaled-down version of (or supplement to) the full database (which costs $99/year for individuals) at ECGsource.com.

Read below the jump to learn more about how the CathSource app can deepen your appreciation for cardiac catheterization procedures with virtual cath images and videos. (read more)

Post image for Shoulder Decide beautifully demonstrates and teaches basic shoulder anatomy and pathology to patients

Musculoskeletal problems are very common in medicine, making up a large portion of visits to family physicians and emergency departments.  Given how short visits are, it is often quite difficult for a physician to adequately educate patients about their condition.  Basic terminology such as “ligament”, “rotator cuff” or “bursitis” are often not well-understood by the general public, and thus confusion may persist even after the physician has explained the diagnosis.

Shoulder Decide, available as separate iPhone and iPad apps, sets out to ameliorate this situation by educating patients about common shoulder problems. If I were to describe the app with one word, it would be “beautiful.” And that design factor, in addition to well-selected content, make this app a great asset to improve patient-physician communication.

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Post image for Brown Medical School will require medical students to use iPad medical textbooks via Inkling

In a little seen nugget published in an article of the Chronicle, the Ivy League medical school, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, will be requiring their incoming medical students to use the Inkling e-book app for key medical textbooks in their first year of medical school.

They will be requiring their incoming first year class to purchase iPads as well.

We have been the first to report how and why Inkling is a game changer in the arena of medical e-books when we reviewed Ganong’s Review of Medical Physiology:

Ganong’s Review of Medical Physiology for the iPad allows you to highlight, write notes, view innovative multimedia modules, and easily search for content — taking what you can do on a paper based textbook to a higher level — and taking e-learning to a completely different stratosphere.

The three key Inkling textbooks that will be required by Brown University’s medical school: Essential Clinical Anatomy, Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy, and Bates’ Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking.

The medical school’s director of preclinical curriculum, Luba Demenco, had the following thoughts to share with the Chronicle on the iPad implementation into the curriculum:

….she was on the fence about whether to require students to purchase Inkling versions until she read through them herself. The interactivity and portability sold her, and should be a great plus for students, she says. “Being able to have an educational tool made all the difference.”

The chapter option, she adds, was not an important part of her decision. Indeed, Brown students will still be expected to purchase entire texts and retain them as a reference. Dr. Dumenco does think the chapter option could be useful for students looking to brush up on concepts—cell biology, say—that they were expected to have learned before medical school.

The chapter version that Dr. Dumenco is referencing is the ability to buy single chapters, a feature we spoke highly of in our original review: (read more)

Post image for Clinical Exam helps students prepare for OSCE and USMLE Step 2 exams and more

By: Tom Lewis, MS 2

Traditionally, medical education has been essentially an apprenticeship, with trainees largely learning by doing. More and more however, medical programs are utilizing simulation environments to teach students in safe environments. For the physical exam, that is the OSCE – objective structured clinical exam. Intended to teach students exam skills in a “low-pressure environment,” for many, these experiences have actually turned into another high-pressure exam.

Clinical Exam is designed to test and improve the practical clinical skills of medical students with impending exams. Unlike other applications focused on clinical skills, such as Physical Exam Essentials, this application is purely dedicated to helping students pass their OSCEs. Clinical Exam provides clinical cases and grading schemes to allow you to investigate many different examination scenarios. Read on to find out how well it accomplishes this task.

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Post image for Pocket Lab Values provides is a well-designed reference but lacking in important areas

By: Rajat Kumar, MS3

The number of things for which physicians can send tests seems to be growing at an exponential rate. And as we continue to gain insight into the biologic and biochemical basis of medical conditions, physicians use these tests even more to diagnose disease, follow progression, and assess effectiveness of therapy.

And as any medical student can tell you, interpreting lab values is a skill that takes time to master. Pocket Lab Values by developer Joefrey Kibuule – who is also a medical student – for the iOS platform attempts to provide healthcare professionals with a concise guide to common labs with reference values and the correlating clinical conditions in an easily accessible reference at the point-of-care. Though well-designed, it has some important limitations that we found limiting for its overall value.

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Post image for Pill Identifier Lite :  Head-to-Head comparison against pill identifiers in Epocrates and Lexi-Comp

Pill Identifier Lite :  Head-to-Head comparison Against pill identifiers in Epocrates and Lexi-Comp

Pill Identification can represent a challenging but occasionally even life-saving endeavor for healthcare professionals and the general public.  Examples where pill identification techniques can be of great assistance include: an ER physician diagnosing beta-blockade toxicity in a bradycardic patient or oral hypoglycemic toxicity in a seizing patient, parents discovering an unknown stray pill in their teenager’s belongings, an EMS finding an unresponsive patient who overdosed on opiates, or a hospitalist unraveling an elderly patient’s antihypertensive regimen in the setting of acute renal failure.  Thus, pill identification is often crucial in clinical practice.

On June 1, 2011, the Pill Identifier Lite App for iPhone from Drugs.com hit the #1 spot in the paid medical app rankings in the iTunes App Store.  This App, based on the Drugs.com Pill Identifier Wizard website (here), aims to help users identify pills by color, shape, and imprint from the convenience of the iPhone or iPad.

Read below the jump to see how the Pill Identifier Lite stacks up against the Epocrates (reviewed here) and Lexi-Comp (reviewed here) Pill Identifier functions, concluding with a direct comparison:

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Post image for Study suggests that teledermatology programs are not an alternative to in-person evaluation

Programs that deliver specialty care to underserved areas utilizing telemedicine are being launched all over the world. However a recent study published in the British Journal of Dermatolgy raises some questions about the limitations of this technology, particularly some unintended consequences that appear to have adverse patient outcomes.

The study looked at a series of dermatolgy referrals for suspicious skin lesions, gathering data on 400 patients within a VA site. What they found was that for many of those patients these visits led to important diagnoses – but not always for the lesion for which they were actually referred.

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Post image for Evidence based decision making taken to a new level by the BMJ

By: Tom Lewis

As the cost of healthcare continues to grow at unsustainable rates, there has been an increasing emphasis on ensuring that the care being delivered by individual clinicians is evidence-based. From optimal medical management of heart failure patients to appropriate cancer screening regimens, its important that clinicians know that the recommendations they make to their patients is supported by available data.

The Best Practice app is a point of care tool from the BMJ Evidence Centre designed to support clinicians in their decision making from diagnosis to treatment. Decision-support information is provided with a step-by-step approach that is structured around the patient consultation, diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention. Despite a few drawbacks, this app has the potential to make a positive impact on patient care.

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Post image for SmartHeart turns your smartphone into a personal ECG

SHL Telemedicine has announced the release of SmartHeart, a lightweight and portable device that they claim can take “hospital-grade” ECGs by “anyone, anywhere, anytime.” The device connects wirelessly to smartphones and can transmit the ECG to a physician for a preliminary diagnosis. The possibilities for a device like this are endless – but so are the questions it raises.

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Post image for Physicians should cautiously navigate exciting waters of social media and medicine

By: Darwin Wan, MS3

 

A stern warning regarding social media usage has been delivered to the medical community in April with news of Dr. Alexandra Thran’s reprimanding by Rhode Island’s state medical board.  Dr. Thran had already been fired last year from Westerly Hospital in Rhode Island for the posting of confidential patient information online.  Although the patient’s name was not included, the board filing stated that enough information was included that enabled others to identify the patient. The action by the state board signifies that a doctor may not just lose a job for a social media transgression but, in a severe case, her livelihood.

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